How to Follow-up on a Job Application: An Email Template
You’ve successfully completed and posted your job resume and are eagerly awaiting the status of your application.
Unfortunately, you don’t hear back from the recruiting firm and the suspense in your head has reached its limit. In these cases, it’s necessary to take a step back and take a nice long breath and think about how to follow-up with the company.
There is a fine line between annoying your potential employer — by sending numerous unwanted e-mails and trying to ascertain the status of your submitted application. There are certain guidelines to follow before you send the designated e-mail to inquire about your follow-up.
HOW SOON IS TOO SOON TO SEND A FOLLOW-UP MAIL ON A JOB APPLICATION?
Many candidates often feel uneasy about following up with their hiring managers due to the fear of coming off as “desperate” and “hopeless”. Follow-up emails are a normal procedure to bring the attention of your hiring manager back to your cover letter.
However, it’s important to practice restraint and give your cover letter sometime before you send a follow-up email.
By following through, you demonstrate a strong will and confidence to your hiring manager that the job means a lot to you. Give yourself a deadline and write it down on a piece of paper. About 7 working days should be ample time for your hiring manager to consider your cover letter and give you a response. If in this time, you haven’t heard back, then you need to consider sending a follow-up email.
It’s critical to not wait longer than 7 business days or the hiring process for your job placement may not be available. If you’ve sent your job application by email, many companies send back an intimation mail through auto-response systems that confirm your application has been received and give you a response date — either within 24 hours or 7 business working days.
THINGS TO REMEMBER WHILE PREPARING YOUR FOLLOW-UP EMAIL
Phone or Email?
One of the most frequently asked questions is whether you should call the company or send them an email to inquire about your job application status. A phone call should always be your last resort after you hear nothing back from your employer even after you’ve sent a follow-up mail.
A courtesy email to remind them of your status is always the way forward, an email can better convey your graciousness and intimate them about your job application.
Organizations tend to be busy all the time, the recruiter will usually prefer to exchange emails as they can quickly refer to the previous emails to understand who the candidate is. A phone call may not send the right signal as they might refer you back to sending a professional follow-up mail before getting back to your job application.
Focus the follow-up mail strictly on the company and not about yourself
When writing the follow-up mail, it’s important to remind them exactly why you would make a great choice for their company.
Don’t talk about your achievements and accomplishments, you’ve already mentioned them in your job application. The follow-up mail is about redirecting them back to your job application and giving them a good positive reason for them to hire you.
Always remember, the company needs to hire you based on their requirements and not because of what you’ve accomplished.
Keep the information strictly linear to what they need and ensure you ask any questions that you have regarding the job application status. Politely request a date in which they can provide you with an answer to whether you’ve been approved or not.
To demonstrate superior qualities, you can also mention them to provide feedback incase they’ve rejected your application. Organizations prefer employees who think ahead in the future and tend to hire them for their insight.
Mention you’re available for a face-to-face interview at any time they need
In your follow-up mail, it’s a good idea to mention that you can stop by anytime at their offices to ensure a quick face-to-face interview can be conducted. Mentioning this showcases your confidence and willingness to go the extra mile for landing the job.
By following up within a week’s time you notify them that you’re a person that has clear priorities in life and time is a valuable resource that you don’t intend to waste.
By mentioning this important piece of information, you place yourself ahead of the competition and can be intimated when a slot opens for them to verify your qualifications and accomplishments. However, do ask them for a one-day heads-up to ensure you can be on time for your first interview.
Fine line between being desperate and gracious
Many follow-up emails by applicants tend to be overbearing and this tends to be a major turn-off to hiring managers.
Have confidence in your abilities, you don’t need to send them a mail basically asking them for a hand out on the job. No company likes to give jobs based on your personal life rather than your professional one, so leave out your sorrow tales and maintain your professional posture.
Follow-up emails should strictly be about inquiring your status on your job application and that’s it. Don’t waste valuable sentences and paragraphs describing how hard you worked to be where you are and why you need the job over everyone else.
Realistically speaking, everyone works hard to be where they are and hence, apply based on their unique accomplishments to set them apart.
ETIQUETTE RULES TO ADHERE TO WHEN FOLLOWING UP ON A JOB APPLICATION
Check the e-mail address and see if it’s correct
While sending a follow-up email, it’s necessary to send the application to the correct email. Companies are known to keep various emails to address different issues, ensure you get the right email that corresponds to the hiring manager. If there are multiple emails you can always use the “Blind Carbon Copy or BCC” option located in your email provider and include all of them.
If in doubt, consult the company’s website or utilize the visiting card if you received one to check for an email address. You can also proceed to call up the company and request the email.
Some companies can have an escalation process for follow-up letters that haven’t been responded to. Ensure you’ve done your research on the company page to sort out the right email from the rest and submit your follow-up email through the right procedure.
Be patient, give it at least a week before you decide to follow-up
Don’t jump the gun, it’s crucial to have patience in sensitive matters such as these. Sometimes, it may take the company more time to analyze a list of candidates before they send out their responses. Other times, it could be an emergency within the company and a delay in sending out your status.
Give the company enough time to reply, wait for a week or two and then decide to write a follow-up letter. Ensure you politely request a response and don’t resort to any offensive or a non-professional tone.
Be confident in your abilities, if you have the right skills, there is absolutely no reason to fret.
Keep yourself up-to-date with your email templates
One of the biggest nuisances that employers face daily is the fact that candidates send them a boring wall of text with an atrocious email template that doesn’t match a professional tone. Choose simple background colors and eye-friendly fonts to catch the reader’s attention. Ensure the colors are bright and not dark to add a positive influence.
Always update yourself with the latest email templates, don’t use email templates that are outdated. Avoid trying to send a white paper background as this is the most common type of job application letter that managers see. By beautifying your letter, you show your employer that you are unique and have something distinct from the rest.
Proofread the entire letter and eliminate errors
Your follow-up mail should contain no grammatical mistakes and should be short and concise. Do mention the follow-up procedure if you happen to send an email via the subject line. Think of this as your second “First” impression to your employer and you need to impress them if you are going to land the job.
Utilize online tools to ensure your follow-up mail is free from spelling errors. If you’re using “Microsoft Word”, ensure the automatic proofreader is turned on to fish out your weak grammatical verbs for you. Spend enough time to edit, refine, and improvise your letter. As a matter of fact, read your letter in your own voice to know if there is a weak phrase that you need to eliminate.
Be Polite and Gracious
Don’t resort to an aggressive attitude and begin accusing your employer of delaying the process. Your application could not be read due to a very busy schedule on their end or an emergency. By trying to accuse, you show exactly why you weren’t picked and you might also end up being blacklisted by the company.
Maintain a gracious tone and show them why you’d be a perfect fit for the company by trying to understand why they weren’t able to read your application letter. Never send recycled emails that were written by you for a previous company to send to your current hiring manager. Always write a fresh follow-up mail personalizing the company you are applying to.
Here are actionable strategies that you can use to write your follow up letters. The information is compiled by Alex Berman in an easy-to-follow video guide.
ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED TO CREATE AN E-MAIL TEMPLATE FOR FOLLOWING UP
The following sections are some of the most important aspects to consider while writing a job application.
Hiring Manager’s Name
Always mention your hiring manager’s name and if you don’t have an official name, you can proceed to add “To whosoever, it may concern” or “Respect Sir/Madam” as a reference.
Mention the job description you’ve applied to and make it clear. It’s critical to mention the job description in your subject line while sending the email.
The name of the company you are applying to. Address the company at the start of the email to ensure you have written a fresh email putting them in the perspective.
Subject (Email Only)
If you are sending your follow-up letter by email, it’s necessary to write an appealing subject line so the contact in question understands at first glance what the email is about. As a rule of thumb, always mention your full name along with the job description as the subject line, unless mentioned otherwise.
Your Contact Information
Your current address and full name so the company can contact you. Ensure you enter the correct pin code, if the company sends you a package it will be addressed here. You should also provide an alternate contact number along with your primary number, just in case.
Ensure you follow good formatting rules and use paragraphs often to separate information. By doing this, you ensure the reader can absorb exactly what is written in the letter without him having to re-read the letter all over again.
Try to keep your paragraphs limited to just 5-6 sentences each to ensure concise text.
Signature and Date
Your signature is required to ensure it’s really you that is writing the letter and you can also place the date either at the start of the letter or next to the signature. Ensure you double check the date to eliminate any embarrassing incidents.
In the next section, a sample letter is provided utilizing all the above sections to give you an understanding of how to write a formal job application.
A SAMPLE FOLLOW-UP LETTER
The following e-mail is a sample letter for applicants to grasp the idea of creating a professional job application and how to place information in their respective sections.
[Hiring Manager Name]
Mr. Adam Bell
Dear [Hiring Manager Name],
I submitted a letter of application and a resume earlier this month for the position of [Job Description] advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle. To date, I haven’t heard back from your company. I would kindly like you to take the time and request the confirmation of the same.
I have a keen interest in working at [Hiring Company Name], and I fully believe my skills and experience are a capable match for this position. My seven years as an award-winning [Job Description]at [Former Company Name] make me a strong fit for this position and company.
Please let me know if you need any further materials from me.
I can be reached at [Your Contact Number] or [Your E-mail]. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your consideration.
Signature (hard copy letter)[Your Signature]
Here is a YouTube video of noted Job coaching expert — Melanie Szlucha. She has plenty of useful tips on offer on how to write a follow-up application.
While it can feel like a lifetime has passed, the best you can do is wait after you’ve sent your follow-up letter. The worst-case scenario is you get rejected and you don’t lose anything but get your hopes up and pick up where you left off. The best-case scenario being you end up in your dream job and you’ve set up your professional career for a great start.
Always remember to face your challenges whether you receive good or bad news. A follow-up letter can do wonders instead of giving up altogether. It’s easier to misunderstand and think that your resume was rejected but there are a 100 reasons to why your job application hasn’t turned up with a response.
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